New Jersey Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Discusses Criminal Elderly Neglect Laws
Lance Brown & Associates represents victims of nursing home abuse and neglect in New Jersey by bringing legal action against nursing homes and their employees to put an immediate stop to neglect, make sure residents are properly cared for, and see that they are fully and fairly compensated for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, and any other legal damages they have suffered. At times, the reprehensible conduct at the nursing home rises to the level of criminal elderly neglect for which criminal charges could be filed.
Criminal Elderly Neglect in New Jersey
Caregivers who are guilty of neglecting the persons under their care can be held liable in civil court for legal damages to the victim, including compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering. In certain circumstances, nursing home neglect or elder neglect can rise to the level of a criminal act, with a guilty person facing fines and jail time and numerous other penalties, as well as a criminal record.
Section 24-8 of New Jersey statutes Title 2C defines abandonment or neglect of an elderly person or a disabled adult as a crime of the third degree, which can result in a jail sentence of 3-5 years if convicted. The text of the law is printed below:
1. a. A person having a legal duty to care for or who has assumed continuing responsibility for the care of a person 60 years of age or older or a disabled adult, who abandons the elderly person or disabled adult or unreasonably neglects to do or fails to permit to be done any act necessary for the physical or mental health of the elderly person or disabled adult, is guilty of a crime of the third degree. For purposes of this section “abandon” means the willful desertion or forsaking of an elderly person or disabled adult.
b.A person shall not be considered to commit an offense under this section for the sole reason that he provides or permits to be provided nonmedical remedial treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone in lieu of medical care, in accordance with the tenets and practices of the elderly person’s or disabled adult’s established religious tradition, to an elderly person or disabled adult to whom he has a legal duty to care for or has assumed responsibility for the care of.
c.Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude or limit the prosecution or conviction for any other offense defined in this code or in any other law of this State.
Subsection a. makes it a crime for a caregiver to fail to provide for the physical or mental health of the elder in his or her care. And according to subsection c., elderly neglect is not the only crime the person could be charged with and found guilty of. Depending upon the nature of the neglect, other criminal charges could be appropriate as well.
Act Now to Stop New Jersey Nursing Home Neglect
A criminal case is harder to prove than a civil case, and prosecutors may be reluctant to bring a case against a nursing home unless they are convinced they can prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Whether criminal charges are filed or not, an experienced personal injury attorney can act immediately to stop any abuse or neglect that is going on and make sure the resident is receiving the proper care. If you or a loved one has been suffering from neglect in a New Jersey nursing home, contact Lance Brown & Associates for immediate assistance.